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Spaceport in reality TV show

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BRANSON: Opens Virgin Galactic's home to TV

BRANSON: Opens Virgin Galactic’s home to TV

New Mexico’s Spaceport America will be featured in an upcoming reality show.

NBC has announced an exclusive deal with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and One Three Media to create a series called “Space Race,” featuring an elimination competition by real people vying for a free spot on one of Virgin Galactic’s commercial space flights.

The company is hoping to launch the flights from New Mexico’s futuristic spaceport in southern New Mexico next year at a cost of $200,000 a head.

Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant at the spaceport, and much of its space will be accessible only by its high-paying customers.

But according to a news release announcing the reality show, “Space Race” will have unprecedented access to Virgin Galactic’s home in the state-of-the-art spaceport.

The company’s rocket plane SpaceShipTwo last month went Mach 1.43 in a test flight in the skies above the Mojave Desert, a key milestone in Virgin Galactic’s effort to be the world’s first commercial space liner. It plans to make several trips a day carrying scores of paying customers into space for a brief journey.

“Our spaceship is now the highest commercial winged vehicle in history,” Branson wrote in a blog post at the time.

Virgin Galactic has accepted more than $80 million in deposits from about 630 reservations made by people who are interested in the ride.

Virgin Galactic has said it hopes to reach space in test flights this year and make its first passenger flight from Spaceport America in 2014.

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